Can taking vitamin D3 daily reduce cancer mortality?

A recent study at the German Cancer Research Center evaluated 14 studies of high quality conducted on almost 105,000 participants.

The findings suggest that vitamin D intake could reduce cancer mortality by 12 percent. However, it should be noted that the vitamin must be taken daily.

Vitamin D deficiency and cancer

Vitamin D deficiency is common worldwide and is particularly prevalent among cancer patients.

According to studies, the vitamin D blood levels of about 15 percent of German adults are below the threshold for a pronounced vitamin D deficiency.

In a study of colorectal cancer patients, researchers found that 59 percent of participants were diagnosed with vitamin D3 deficiency, which was also associated with an unfavorable prognosis.

Effectiveness of Vitamin D3 on cancer mortality

The effectiveness of vitamin D3 on cancer mortality was evaluated in a systematic literature search conducted by Ben Schöttker and colleagues, which identified 14 studies with nearly 105,000 participants.

The researchers considered only studies of the highest quality whose participants had been randomly assigned to the vitamin D3 arm or the placebo arm.

When all 14 studies were pooled, no statistically significant results emerged.

However, when the studies were divided according to whether vitamin D3 was taken daily in a low dose or in higher doses administered at longer intervals, a significant difference was seen.

In the four studies with the infrequent higher doses, there was no effect on cancer mortality.

However, in the summary of the ten studies with daily dosing, the researchers determined a statistically significant 12 percent reduction in cancer mortality.

Better efficacy of daily doses

The better efficacy of daily doses of vitamin D3 is due to the more regular bioavailability of the active agent, the hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which is produced by reactions of vitamin D in the body and can presumably inhibit tumor growth.

Furthermore, a more detailed analysis of the studies with daily intake revealed that people aged 70 and older benefited most from vitamin D3 therapy.

The effect was also most evident when vitamin D intake was started before the cancer diagnosis.

Low-risk and low cost

The study concludes that regular intake of low doses of vitamin D3 is associated with almost negligible risk and very low cost.

Hermann Brenner, an epidemiologist and prevention expert at the German Cancer Research Center, adds that this study underlines the great potential of vitamin D3 administration in the prevention of cancer deaths.

If you care about inflammation, please read studies about new way to halt excessive inflammation, and vitamin B may help fight COVID-19 and reduce inflammation.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and results showing this diet may help reduce inflammation in COVID-19.

The study was published in Ageing Research Reviews.

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